Latino voters encouraged to register as deadline approaches

Posted at 8:08 PM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 23:18:47-04

If 2020 has taught anyone anything, it's how to get creative. Just two weeks away from the voter registration deadline, a handful of Valley organizations are pushing eligible voters to get signed up.

In the past, we've seen groups go door-to-door. This year, that isn't an option.

"I’m a Latina," said 20-year-old Anayeli Sarao. "I think that everyone should be ready to register to make a difference in this world and this community.”

Sarao signed up Tuesday afternoon outside Ranch Market after running into Blanca Ramirez, a volunteer for Mi Familia Vota.

“I think it’s really good," added Sarao. "They are trying to make a difference to help people register, you know, help one another.”

Ramirez herself has volunteered to help voters get their ballots since 2017. She'll be voting for the first time in the 2020 General Election, after becoming a naturalized citizen last year.

"I always say if there’s something better, that’ll be something better for our kids and that’s why we have to encourage people," Ramirez said.

To do so, she travels to supermarkets, parks, and other heavily trafficked areas to get voters to fill out physical forms.

“There was a time where we had to do it from home, we would register people through the computer," added Ramirez. "Right now, it’s a little bit harder because we can’t get too close to people, we have to wear gloves and masks and make sure to provide clean pens."

It's not the only way though. Yara Marin says Mi Familia Vota has launched several other alternatives, including a hotline, virtual events, a phone bank, even drive-thru registration options to get eligible Latinos to sign up.

"With everything going on, it’s more important than ever to make sure that every single community member that all of our communities of color, but our Latinos are out there voting, and allowing their voices to be heard and casting that vote," she said.

Many Hispanic community leaders say a number of eligible men and women don't trust that their vote will have an impact, discouraging some from registering.

"There are voters that are a little ambivalent," added Marin. "They need that extra touch point... We want to make sure that they feel supported to make their decision.”

Since the pandemic, Mi Familia Vota has helped register more than 15,000 men and women, and plan to continue outreach efforts through October 5.

Arizona voters have until that date to sign up, either online or by filling out a physical form, dropping it off at their local county elections office, or mailing it.